Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2009

New Drug Approvals - 2008 Retrospective

I put together a graph this afternoon, from home, with no real network connection, no database access and a sick dog - so treat the rendering of the data as preliminary, but I think it is quite interesting. Anyway, below is a retrospective view of 2008 US drug approvals. 10 Orals, 13 Parenterals and 1 Topical. 2 Natural Product derived drugs (excluding peptide drugs). All is well with the Rule of Five. 6 with black-box warnings. 1 new target (but quite a few with unknown mode of action). 20 small molecules, and 4 peptide/protein drugs.....

New Drug Approvals - Pt. VII - Canakinumab (Ilaris)

Next in our series of posts on new FDA drug approvals this year is Canakinumab, approved on the 18th of June. Canakinumab is a Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) blocker indicated for the treatment of various auto-immune diseases - specifically described by the term Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS), including Familial Cold Autoinflammatory Syndrome (FCAS) (alternatively known as familial cold urticaria ) and Muckle-Wells Syndrome (MWS) . These are rare (albeit debilitating) genetic diseases, and are usually caused by mutations in the NLRP-3 gene - here is the link to the OMIM entry for NLRP-3. Canakinumab is the third Il-1β blocker to reach the market, and as the INN/USAN suggests it is a human (the 'u' before mab) derived monoclonal antibody (the 'mab' part). The earlier IL-1β blockers were Anakinra (Kineret), and Rilonacept (Arcalyst); both of these earlier therapies are not antibody therapies, and have different detailed mechanisms of action. Canakinumab bi

New Drug Approvals - Icons

To make things a little simpler, and to allow rapid visual comparisons, we have set up a series of icons for our New Drug Approvals posts. These are very simple, and should be self explanatory. Three examples should make everything clear. A small molecule, Rule-of-Five compliant, oral drug A large molecule, parenteral drug, against a new target, with a black box warning. A natural product-derived topical drug Well maybe things are not as clear as could be..... but hey, you guys and gals are smart, and will soon work it out; and I am sure the magic blog pixies will add the correct icons to the previous posts.

New Team Member :)

To jpo and Bissan a son - Albert Mohio. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

New Drug Approvals - Pt. VI - Artemether/Lumefantrine (Coartem)

Artemether: Lumefantrine: Next in our series of posts on 2009 new drug approvals is a mixture of Artemether (USAN) - a methyl ether derivative of artemisinin, and Lumefantrine (USAN) - a racemic mixture of a synthetic racemic fluorene derivative formerly known as benflumetol. The combination of these two drugs in one product was approved on April 7th. The mixture is marketed under the trade name Coartem, for the treatment of acute, uncomplicated malaria infections due to Plasmodium falciparum , the causative parasite of the most aggressive form of the disease. Artemether and Lumefantrine are both small molecule drugs (molecular weights of 298.4 g.mol-1 and 528.9 g.mol-1, respectively), lipophilic, and are both essentially insoluble in water. Artemether is fully Rule-of-Five compliant, whereas Lumefantrine is not. Artemether and Lumefantrine have increased oral absorption when administrated with food and display high plasma protein binding of 95.4% and 99.7%, respectively. Arteme

New Drug Approvals - Pt. V - Everolimus (Afinitor)

Also approved this year, on March 30th 2009, is Everolimus (USAN). Everolimus is an inhibitor of mTOR ( mammalian target of rapamycin ), a serine-threonine kinase, and is indicated for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma after failure of treatment with Sunitinib or Sorafenib. Sunitinib and Sorafenib are both orally dosed small molecule inhibitors of protein kinases. Everolimus is also marketed under the trade name (although not currently in the US) as Certican, which is used for immunosuppression in transplant therapy. Everolimus (previously known by the research code RAD-001) is a relatively large 'small molecule' drug (Molecular Weight of 958.2 g.mol-1), lipophilic, orally absorbed and has a low plasma binding of ~74%. Everolimus is primarily metabolized CYP3A4 routes, with known metabolites being essentially inactive as mTor inhibitors, these are largely excreted in the feces. Everolimus has a long mean elimination half-life of ~30 hours. Typical dosage is 10 mg

MipTec2009 - October 13th-15th, Basel, 2009

We are going to speak at the forthcoming MipTec meeting in Basel - this is a free registration meeting, so it is pretty unusual (and good!). We will speak on bioisostere discovery from our chEMBL databases - probably in the area of peptide drugs and peptide bioisosteres. The meeting website is here .... As you may have noticed, today is a catch up with things-to-do-day, and also we are celebrating some of the kings (and maybe later, queens) of british comedy in the the blog pictures.

Browsers and OS's for Chemblog access

So we've had well in excess of 10,000 accesses to the chembl-og so far, and I thought it might be time to do a little bit of analysis of the accesses do far in terms of OS, and browsers, java-support and so forth. All the sort of nice details provided by google analytics . Of course, the sample here may not be representative of the eventual users of the group's data, but I found the results interesting, and they will be factored into our interface testing processes. As an aside, all numbers are for 'Visits'. Operating Systems Browsers 85% of browsers have java enabled. 98.4% have 24 bit (or higher) colour. 92% have 1024x768 (or higher) screen resolution, 81.8% have 1200x800 (or higher) screen resolution.

What database systems should we support for chEMBL data?

Here is a poll asking for input on the primary (and potentially other) database systems for distribution of the chEMBL data. UPDATE: Poll is now closed.

New Drug Approvals - Pt. IV - Tolvaptan (Samsca)

Latest through the gates is Tolvaptan (trade name Samsca), approved on May 21st 2009. Tolvaptan is a first-in-class oral vasopressin receptor antagonist used for the treatment of hyponatremia (low plasma sodium levels). Tolvaptan (previously known as the research code OPC-41,061) is selective for the Vasopressin V2 receptor isoform (reportedly 29 fold selective over the V1a receptor isoform. There are a number of -vaptans (the USAN stem for vasopressin antagonists) of varying selectivity profiles in clinical trials (including Conivaptan, Relcovaptan, SSR-149,415, Lixivaptan, Mozavaptan, and Satavaptan) for a variety of differing indications; but Tolvaptan is the first to be approved in the US. Tolvaptan has a boxed warning (colloquially known as a 'black box'). Tolvaptan is a racemic small molecule drug (Molecular Weight of 448.9 g.mol-1) and is a lipophilic drug, is essentially insoluble in water, and has fair oral absorption (>40% bioavailable). Tolvaptan hsa a plasma